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05/10/2022 : A SLICE OF LIFE - Tabula Rasa

A SLICE OF LIFE

Tabula Rasa

MusicCD / Digital
GaragerockIndie RockNew wavePost Punk

[90/100]   

Self-released
05/10/2022, Jurgen BRAECKEVELT

EN

Tabula Rasa. The callsign of the second full album from A Slice Of Life. However, it seems not a tabula rasa at all but a thorough and even more impressive reproduction of their first fruits. Drifting between gothic rock, post-punk and good old 80s new wave but on top of that a rollercoaster of raw emotion, marinated in the ingredients of The Cure, Joy Division, The Sound and the like. Copycats? Not at all! Self composed songs with their own musical twist. Moreover, A Slice Of Life, Dirk Vreys (vocals), Wim Kempenaers (guitar), Guy Wilssens (guitar), Nelson Da Silva (bass), Emannuel Schaeverbeke (keyboards), François-Xavier Reimeringer (drums) is a band that plays everything you hear, live! Those who have already seen them perform live know they bring a catchy and sincere liveshow, fueled with passion penetrating even the smallest cell of your body.

Tabula Rasa is thus the band's second achievement, containing 12 songs and a remix by Coraline as an extra gift.

Dirk Vreys' voice, which he uses wonderfully within his Cure tribute band The Obscure, also works well with A Slice Of Life, being a bit more rough. ‘Two Faced Man’ opens the album and his great voice does what it's supposed to, wrapping you in. While guitars precariously creep in the background, a growling bass-line and a post-punk/shoe-gaze vibe completes it all.

What makes Tabula Rasa even stronger than their debut Restless (2018) is the variety. ‘Sweet Darkness’ gives the guitars the lead role, reminding us at times to The Cult and The Misson.

Then we get some (post) punk vibes at ‘Matterhorn’, while ‘Seven Days’ is more reminiscent of The Cure making it an excellent gothic track. In which, after the modest intro, the decibels and the accompanying vocal outbursts reach crescendo.

“Now that we know – how nothing will last – things I remember – things from the past

So I say goodbye – to my favourite times – you won't be forgotten – in these blood-shattered rhymes”… resounds in the painful and compelling ‘Goodbye’. It must have been a touching farewell.

‘Anywhere But Home’ is more of a happy song, with an indie scent to it. Whatever! Musically it all fits! Sound wise, technically, production wise, the atmosphere, the variation … not a single song disappoints on the album, as mentioned before, there is more diversity than on their first release (which was also already really rock solid). One can feel A Slice Of Life wants to take distance from mediocrity and half done work.

And what about a bit of nostalgic eighties feel like Billy Idol once brought it. Well, ‘Run For Cover’ has fragments of this feel. You can almost see Billy Idol's greasy crest. And why not throw in another nostalgic sounding killer song with ‘What Doesn't Kill Me’. Here one can hear once more their love for the heydays of The Cure while ‘In Your Shade’ wanders of off to a sort of lingering post-punk.

‘Fortress of Solitude’ is slow, where an intoxicating piano accompanies you on a lyrically not so cheerful date. A very deep cutting and catchy song that hits you like a sledgehammer. When the guitars start screaming towards the end, it seems like the apocalypse is approaching… it really make one go silent.

The end is near. The end is exiting. The end is no goodbye. Animal Instinct has you merrily shuffling your legs across the dance floor. Direction exit. Thank you and goodbye! Or rather: Welcome! Welcome to this parallel universe, created by A Slice Of Life. This album should (and will) put A Slice Of Life on the map in new wave/gothic (rock) scene. Cunningly strong sounding, varied and above all finger licking good! After each listen, your love for this album will grow!

Jurgen BRAECKEVELT
05/10/2022


NL

Tabula Rasa. De roepnaam van de tweede full van A Slice Of Life. Het is helemaal geen tabula rasa, maar een doorgedreven en nog indrukwekkender doordruk van hun eersteling. Dwepend tussen gothic rock, postpunk en good old 80’s new wave. Maar bovendien een rollercoaster van rauwe emotie, gemarineerd in de ingrediënten van The Cure, Joy Division, The Sound, en nog van dat fraais. Gepikt? Néén. Eigen georkestreerde songs met een eigen muzikale draai. Bovendien is A Slice Of Life, met Dirk Vreys (zang), Wim Kempenaers (gitaar), Guy Wilssens (gitaar), Nelson Da Silva (bas), Emannuel Schaeverbeke (toetsen), François-Xavier Reimeringer (drums) een band die alles tot de kleinste noot live speelt. Wie hen al live zag wéét dat dit pakkende en oprechte passie is en dat voel je tot in je kleinste lichaamscel.

Tabula Rasa is dus de tweede worp van de band. 12 nummers en een remix van Coraline cadeau.
Dirk Vreys’ stemgeluid dat hij in zijn Cure-Tribute band The Obscure geweldig kwijt kan, werkt ook bij A Slice Of Live. Maar ruwer. Two Faced man opent het album en de geweldige stem doet hier al wat die moet doen: pakken. Compleet inpakken. Gitaar vervaarlijk rondsluipend in de achtergrond, een grommende baslijn. Een postpunk/shoegaze-vibe maakt het compleet.

Wat Tabula Rasa nog sterker maakt dan hun debuut Restless (2018) is de afwisseling. Sweet Darkness geeft de gitaren de hoofdrol en het heeft bij momenten wat van The Cult en The Misson in één song.
We krijgen wat (post)punk-vibes bij Matterhorn, een veeg uit The Cure-pan met Seven Days die een meer dan uitmuntende gothic-song is. Na de ingetogen intro gaan de decibels en de daarmee gepaard gaande vocale uithalen de hoogte in.

‘Now that we know – how nothing will last – things I remember – things from the past
So I say goodbye – to my favourite times – you won’t be forgotten – in these bloodshattered rhymes’… weerklinkt in het pijnlijk aanvoelende en meeslepende Goodbye. Het moet een aandoenlijk afscheid zijn (geweest).

Anywhere But Home is dan weer een vrolijke noot, met een indiegeurtje aan. Whatever! Muzikaal klopt het als een bus. Muzikaal, technisch, productie, sfeer, variatie, geen enkele song ontgoochelt, het is veel diverser dan de eersteling (en die was al echt steengoed). Je voelt dat A Slice Of Life veraf wil staan (én staat) van middelmatigheid en half werk.

En wat te denken van een beetje nostalgische eighties zoal Billy Idol die bracht. Wel, Run For Cover heeft er flarden van. Je kan er je Idol’s vetkuif bij denken. En waarom er nog geen nostalgische klinkende knalschuif tegenaan gooien met What Doesn’t Kill Me. Hier is de liefde voor de hoogdagen van The Cure weer te horen. In Your Shade gaat dan weer meer naar slepende postpunk toe.

Fortress of Solitude is een plakker waarbij een bedwelmende piano je vergezelt op een tekstueel niet zo vrolijk uitje. Een heel diep snijdend en pakkende song die je een mokerslag geeft. Als de gitaren het uitschreeuwen op het einde alsof de apocalypse nadert… je wordt er echt stil van.

The end is near. The end is exiting. The end is no goodbye. Animal Instinct doet je de benen vrolijk over de dansvloer voortschrijdend uitgeleide. Richting exit. Thank you, goodbye. Of nee: Welcome! Welcome in a parallel universe, created by A Slice Of Life. Want daar ben je welkom. Dit album moet (en zal) A Slice Of Life echt op de kaart zetten in new wave/gothic (rock) land. Snedig, sterke sound, afwisselend en vooral fingerlicking good! Na elke luisterbeurt groeit de liefde voor het album.

Jurgen BRAECKEVELT
05/10/2022


05/10/2022 : A SLICE OF LIFE - Tabula Rasa 05/10/2022 : A SLICE OF LIFE - Tabula Rasa

 

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